According to a recent report by Tribe Payments, 90% of fintechs currently use APIs and believe the technology will have the biggest impact on the industry this year, but added that AI will have the most significant impact in the next five years.

Featuring contributions from 80 prominent technological firms including Canonical, FintechOS, Microsoft, R3 and TrueLayer, the ‘Fintech Five by Five’ report examined which emerging technologies are having the biggest impact in the current fintech space as well as what developments will have a long-term impact.

APIs are the most widely used emerging technology today, primarily driven by the success of Open Banking  as well as by regulation in the financial industry, and are leveraged by 90% of fintechs. 

Tribe – which became the first processor to offer its own Open Banking APIs to its bank and fintech customers in collaboration with Open Banking Europe – added that this technology ‘will continue to be mainstream and make integration of services simple’.

However, Tribe Payments findings show that 67% of fintechs believe that AI will have the biggest future impact on the sector, and 70% of survey respondents replied that they are currently using Ai despite its perception as a future technology.

Used by 20% of fintechs, Blockchain was also identified as a technological innovation which will have a bigger impact on the fintech world than APIs, although the latter was still listed in third place out of five developments ranked in terms of impact by the industry specialists consulted. 

In addition, both low-code and edge computing are included on both the one-year impact and five-year impact lists, but the survey respondents believe the two will swap places, with the latter taking the former’s fourth place spot. 

As it stands, low code – described by Tribe as the ‘dark horse’ of the five technologies – is currently being employed by 16% of fintechs as a means of increasing the pace of development and refocusing time on high value projects, whilst edge computing is utilised by 10%. 

Tribe noted that the latter figure was ‘surprisingly high’ due to the technology being ‘less hyped’ than others, adding that the implications of edge computing are primarily understood by those close to the technology, whilst greater adoption of low code will require an ‘attitude shift’ in how fintechs address development.

“Fintech may be seen by some as a revolution made possible by technology, but it’s just as much a shift of attitude – an ongoing change where openness to, and understanding of new technology is vital,” said Alex Reddish, Chief Commercial Officer at Tribe Payments. 

“This report not only offers insight into the technologies from those closest to them, it suggests next steps for fintechs who don’t want to be left behind.”

Tribe concluded that AI’s reputation ‘as all hype and no substance is no longer deserved,’ as it is not only clear that fintechs have high hopes for its future use but are currently using it extensively as well. 

Meanwhile, the firm argued that the success of blockchain technology is not overly reliant on crypto, as the technology will be used ‘more and more in smart contracts, and for privacy and confidentiality’.